Fact Check: Israeli National Anthem Was NOT Sung In UAE In December 2023 By Israeli And Arab Singers Jointly

Fact Check

  • by: Jamal Halaby
Fact Check: Israeli National Anthem Was NOT Sung In UAE In December 2023 By Israeli And Arab Singers Jointly Pre-Conflict

Was the Israeli national anthem, "Hatikva," sung jointly by Israeli and Arab singers at a ceremony hosted by the Israeli Embassy in the United Arab Emirates in December 2023? No, that's not true: The footage used to validate the claim was originally posted in May 2023, thus predating by months the Hamas-Israel conflict, which erupted on October 7, 2023.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on December 10, 2023. A text overlay (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff) read:

The Israeli national anthem is 'raised' in the Emirates.

Another text (also translated) said singing the Israeli national anthem in an Arab country

is a complete (moral) decadence and an unrivaled sale of (Arab) honor.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:


(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Dec 14 10:35:02 2023 UTC)

The video depicts famed Canadian-Israeli singer, songwriter and actress Nicole Raviv and United Arab Emirates (UAE) singer Ahmad Alhosani both singing the Israeli national anthem, "Hatikva," (Hebrew for the hope), in Hebrew. Both Raviv and Alhosani looked relaxed as they sang on stage, with Arabic and English writing on a white screen in the background that reads: "Embassy of Israel, United Arab Emirates." The six-pointed Star of David, which symbolizes the connection among God, Israel and the Torah, and a dove with an olive branch, a pre-eminent symbol of peace, also appeared on the screen. Alhosani was wearing the white headdress known as the kaffiyeh and the thobe, an ankle-length robe with long sleeves worn by Arab men, especially in the Arabian Peninsula.

A caption (also translated) claimed that the event took place in the UAE before Hanukkah, a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem in the second century B.C. Hanukkah was celebrated from December 7 to 15 in 2023, according to Chabad, a flagship website of the Israeli Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement.

A Lead Stories reverse image search using Google Lens (archived here) on December 13, 2023, led to identical footage (archived here) posted by leading Israeli Jewish influencer Hananya Naftali on his verified TikTok account on May 4, 2023, praising the event as a "beautiful moment of peace in the Middle East." Naftali created social media content for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Jewish Insider, a website that covers U.S. politics and business with a Jewish angle.

Raviv also posted a longer version of the video on YouTube (archived here) on May 5, 2023, saying in the caption that the event took place in Abu Dhabi and was organized by the Israeli Embassy there to mark the "first Israel Independence Day celebration" in the Arab country. Israel and UAE signed a peace agreement on September 15, 2020, according to the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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  Jamal Halaby

Jamal Halaby is a fact-checker, who has been working with Lead Stories for nearly two years, helping bring the truth and factual information to the organization's global audience. With extensive background in investigative journalism and content writing and editing in Arabic and English, Jamal uses that experience to expose a burgeoning market of misinformation and disinformation. Previously, he worked as a writer for the Associated Press and several other reputable international news organizations. He has a passion for empirical analysis and discerning the veracity of the news.

Read more about or contact Jamal Halaby

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